The Los Angeles Angels are making the most of another trip to Kansas City.
They’ll look to win for the 18th time in 22 games at Kauffman Stadium when they seek to complete a three-game sweep of the Royals on Wednesday.
Since the start of the 2003 season, Los Angeles (22-13) is 17-4 against Kansas City, posting a 2.92 ERA in those games. The Angels have a 1.50 ERA in the first two games of this series, which isn’t a surprise considering the Royals (14-18) have scored a major league-low 110 runs.
Kansas City has been an especially good place to pitch for Los Angeles closer Francisco Rodriguez, who leads the majors with 14 saves. He improved to 9-for-9 in save chances at Kauffman Stadium with a scoreless ninth inning in a 5-3 win on Tuesday, and hasn’t allowed a run while giving up a total of five hits over 12 2-3 innings in his career there.
Rodriguez was part of a bullpen effort in which four relievers allowed two hits over 4 2-3 scoreless innings as Los Angeles extended its season-high winning streak to four games and improved baseball’s best road record to 12-5.
“Tonight we needed all of them and they responded very well,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said about his bullpen.
Angels outfielder Garret Anderson entered this series with just two homers and 11 RBIs, but he is 4-for-9 with two homers and seven RBIs in the first two games. Anderson went 3-for-5 and drove in five runs on Tuesday.
Los Angeles will start Jered Weaver (2-4, 4.36 ERA), who has lost three straight starts against the Royals, although it hasn’t exactly been his fault. He has a 2.84 ERA in those outings, but Los Angeles has scored a total of four runs in those games.
The Angels haven’t even scored many runs for Weaver when he has beaten the Royals. He went 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in two starts against them in 2006 while getting only seven runs of support.
The right-hander gave up four runs over seven innings last Friday in a 4-3 loss to Baltimore, but matched a season high with six strikeouts.
He will be opposed by Zack Greinke (3-1, 1.47), who hopes his excellent form this season will help him overcome his struggles against the Angels. Greinke is 0-2 with an 8.49 ERA against Los Angeles in three career appearances, including two starts.
It’s been a different story, however, for Greinke in 2008. He owns the second-best ERA in the AL behind Cleveland’s Cliff Lee and opponents are batting just .215 against him.
The right-hander, however, is 0-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his last three starts after winning his first three. He was outpitched by Minnesota’s Sidney Ponson on Thursday, allowing two runs in seven innings in a 2-1 loss - Greinke’s first of the season.
“Zack was really good,” manager Trey Hillman said. “We got the pitching back but couldn’t put the offense with it.”
The Royals own the worst home record in the AL at 5-9.